02/28/12 – Michigan/Arizona Victory Speech

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MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Wow, what a night. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Now, first — first…

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mitt, Mitt, Mitt, Mitt!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mitt, Mitt, Mitt, Mitt!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mitt, Mitt, Mitt, Mitt!

ROMNEY: OK, first thank you, as the first state would call it, thank you, Arizona. Great victory in Arizona tonight. And thank you, Michigan. What a win. This is a big night. Thank you, guys.

You know, a week ago, it was just a week ago the pundits and the pollsters, they were ready to count us out, but across Michigan and Arizona, I kept on meeting moms and dads and students and grandparents, and they were concerned about what is happening to this great country of ours. And I was confident that we could come together today and take a giant step toward a brighter future.

So tonight, their efforts have brought our cause a great victory, and we celebrate with people across these states. Thank you.

Now tonight is also particularly special for me, because this is the place where I was born. This is the place where I was raised. My mom and dad lived many years here and loved this great state, and I know that Michiganders in this room, we consider you all family. Thank you so much for your help.

And in this room are the people who knocked on the doors and made the calls and went to the polls, and it made an enormous difference. We didn’t win by a lot, but we won by enough, and that’s all that counts.

And by the way, in Arizona, special thank you to Governor Jan Brewer there and Senator John McCain. They were tireless, particularly John McCain. He’s been all over the country helping. What a hero. Thank you, Senator. Thank you, Governor. They’re out there. We’ve got two sons out there that are celebrating with them. The great thing about having so many in the family, we can cover almost every race.

So Super Tuesday will be stretched, but we’re going to find a way. Our campaign, as you know, is about restoring the promise of America. Last week, I unveiled a very bold economic plan that’s going to jump-start the economy and it’s going to get Michiganders back to work. It’s going to get Americans more jobs they’re crying out for, and we’re going to have less debt and smaller government. And I’m going to deliver on more jobs, less debt, and smaller government. We’re going to hear that day in and day out: More jobs, less debt, smaller government.

You know, there are a lot of people who were saying that, if you’re running for office, you really can’t speak honestly to the American people. Well, we did, and I will. And because this is a decisive moment, I believe this is a time that requires real leadership in our country.

Times are tough. We need leaders who will live with integrity, who have the courage to tell the truth and have the experience to get our economy back on track. That’s the kind of leader I aspire to be. That’s the kind of leader I will be if I’m president of the United States.

Our campaign — our campaign is about more than just replacing a president. It’s about restoring America’s promise. From generation to generation, Americans have always known that the future would be brighter and better. Americans have always believed in a tomorrow full of possibility and prosperity. That’s what it means to be the land of opportunity.

In America, you know that if you worked hard, you could build a better life. If you teach your kids the right kind of values and help them make the right choices in life, you know their future will be prosperous and secure. And that deep confidence of a better tomorrow is a basic promise of America.

Today, that promise is being threatened by a faltering economy and a failed presidency. Four years ago, we warned that the precedency was no place for on-the-job training. Well, today we have the economy to prove it, all right.

This president, by the way, he likes to remind us that he inherited an economy that was in crisis. But he doesn’t like to remind us that he also inherited a Democrat Congress. He had majorities in both the House and the Senate. He was free to pursue any policy he pleased.

Did he fix the economy? No.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No!

ROMNEY: Did he tackle the housing crisis?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. Did he get America back to work?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No!

ROMNEY: Instead he put us on a path toward debt and deficits and decline. It’s time to get off that path and get back on the path of American prosperity.

Now, these days when he’s not spending our money or infringing on our rights, he’s busy running for re-election. He believes — did you hear this? He believes he ranks among the top four president in American history. Did you hear that? I’d find a different spot for him.

He thinks he deserves a second term. He says we can’t wait, to which I say, “Oh, yes we can.” Today, we’re — we’re $15 trillion in debt, and real unemployment stands at 15 percent. You’ve heard that old saying about, I need a vacation from my vacation. Well, we need to have a recovery from this so-called recovery.

You know, as a nation, we’ve survived a Great Depression. We’ve weathered two world wars. We’ve made it through tough times, and we’ve not come all this way to give up now. We still believe in the hope, in the dream, and the promise of America. We know our future is better and brighter than these troubled times.

That unwavering conviction guides our campaign and this effort. It’s rallied millions of people to our cause, and it’s a message we’re going to take to every corner of the country, from Ohio and Idaho to Georgia and Tennessee.

We’ve seen enough of this president over the last four years to know that we don’t need another five years of President Obama because he thinks he’s unchecked by the Constitution. He’s unresponsive to the will of the people, and in a second term, he would be unrestrained by the demands of re-election. If there’s one thing we can’t afford, it’s four more years of Barack Obama with nothing to answer to, so we’re going to get him out of office and get him back home where he belongs.

Now you saw his budget.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mitt, Mitt, Mitt, Mitt, Mitt! Mitt, Mitt, Mitt, Mitt, Mitt, Mitt!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mitt, Mitt, Mitt, Mitt, Mitt! Mitt, Mitt, Mitt, Mitt, Mitt, Mitt!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mitt, Mitt, Mitt, Mitt, Mitt! Mitt, Mitt, Mitt, Mitt, Mitt, Mitt!

ROMNEY: You saw the budget, he put it out. It foreshadows exactly what we’re going to see ahead if he’s the president: run-away spending, record debt. They were just the warm-up act. For an encore, he wants to raise taxes on job creators and small businesses and families. And we are not going to let him do it.

In this campaign, I’m offering a real choice and a very different direction. I have a plan that will restore America’s promise through more jobs and less debt and smaller government. President Obama is making the federal government bigger, more burdensome and loaded. I’ll make it smaller and simpler. And it’s about time for that to happen.

He raised the national debt. I will cut cap and balance the budget. He passed Obama care. I would appeal Obama care. He lost our AAA credit rating. I’ll restore our AAA credit rating. He rejected the Keystone Pipeline. I’ll get us the oil from Canada we deserve.

And by the way — by the way, I’m going to open up our lands for development so we can finally get the energy in this country that we need at a price we can afford.

Look, when it — when it comes to the economy, my highest priority will be worrying about your job, not worrying about how to save my own. This president — this president wants to raise your taxes. I’m going to cut them. That’s going to start with an across- the-board 20 percent cut for every American. I’ll also repeal the alternative minimum tax, and we will abolish, finally, the death tax.

And you know, he’s now proposed raising taxes on small businesses and job creators. I’m going to lower those taxes. I’ll also lower the corporate rate to larger businesses to 25 percent, make the R&D tax cut permanent to foster innovation. And I’m going to end the repatriation tax to return investment back to our shores. There’s a lot of money offshore going to come back to America.

Let’s finally have a tax plan that puts Americans back to work. And I have it, and we’ll get it in place.

Now, you know he also proposes to raise taxes on savings and investment. And if I’m the president, I’m going to help middle-class families save and invest tax free. Yes, good, I agree. Yes, great. It’s about time.

And he also has an extraordinary gap in his policy proposals. Do you realize after saying Medicare and Social Security were in trouble, he has yet to offer a single serious proposal for saving Medicare and Social Security? I have a plan to save them both. And unlike him, I have the courage to put my plan on the table for people to see.

Look, what this campaign is about, what my plans are about are creating jobs and raising wages for the American people. They’re going to strengthen our entitlement programs for the next generation and they will not add to our deficit, but we will finally balance America’s budget.

Now, beyond — beyond having a plan to get our citizens back to work, I have the experience to get our economy back on track. I spent 25 years in business. I was also the steward of the Olympics and the leader of a state. I cut taxes 19 times. I turned a budget shortfall into a surplus. I know how government can kill jobs, and yes, I know how it can help create jobs. And I stand ready to lead our party to victory and our nation back to prosperity. We’ll get the job done.

It’s a critical time in America. It’s our time for choosing, and this time, we’ve got to get the choice right. I said it before, and I firmly believe it, that this campaign is about saving the soul of America. This election — this election comes down to two very different visions of America. It’s a choice between becoming a nation of and by Washington or remaining a nation of and by a free people. A choice between an entitlement society and the land of opportunity. A choice between squandering America’s promise and restoring that promise for future generations.

If you want to make the election about restoring American greatness, then I hope you’ll join us. If you believe the disappointments of the last few years are a detour and not the destiny for America, I need your support.

I’m asking for you to get out and vote, and I’m asking for you, by the way, to go on MittRomney.com and pledge your support in every way possible. I’m — I’m asking you to join the fight for the freedom, to insure that tomorrow will be better than today.

This election, let’s restore America’s promise. Let’s fight for this country we love. We’ve got work ahead. We’re going to do that work. We’re going to take back America. America is the greatest nation in the history of the earth. We’re going to keep it that way.

Thank you, guys. You’re the best.

God bless the United States of America. Thank you.

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